Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Book Review: Colossians Remixed

In his book Brave New World (a book I didn't read in high school because I went to a Christian school...okay this is it's own post...I'll let it go...for now) he foresees a future where people willingly give up autonomy in order to be placated by drugs. Basically, I think that Huxley's point was that if you could just make people happy, then they would allow you to have total control over them. (By the way, this is a radically different view than of the more popular 1984 by George Orwell -- which I also didn't read in school -- where he argues that "Big Brother," would forcibly take freedoms away in order to control the populace. A good read on the juxtaposition of the two views of reality can be found in the introduction to Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neal Postman, a book that is probably in my top-10 all time favorite reads.) The reason that I started this post with Huxley is that I was finishing a book that I've been working on for a little while. It's kind of a commentary on Colossians called, Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire, and one of their central thrusts is that while Paul wrote to a Christian community that lived under the domination of the Roman Empire, we live in a culture equally subjected to the claims of empire. I think that what the authors are getting at is that we are so inundated by the ideas of what it means to be Americans that most Christians can no longer distinguish between what it means to be an American and what it means to be a Christian. (I remember in a former church people who would gush on and on about how the "patriotic musical" that was done near the 4th of July was the BEST service we did ALL YEAR!) The reason that this has anything to do with Aldous Huxley and Brave New World is that they argue that we've been sold the vision of America in such attractive ways that we have willingly walked away from some of the things that it means to be Christian. I guess I tend to agree with the authors at an intellectual level, but maybe I'm dumb, or maybe I've been thoroughly co-opted by the concept of Americana, or maybe I'm just incredibly unspiritual, but I understand their concept, and I feel overwhelmed by the concepts and the ideas that they put forward...

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